The Early Childhood Education (ECE) Major is designed to prepare students to become highly effective and responsible teachers, coaches, advocates, and policy makers who promote quality care and education for young children, birth through age eight. ECE students take classes and participate in field experiences that support the knowledge, understandings, and competencies established by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), the Colorado Department of Education (CDE), and the Colorado Department of Human Services (CDHS) to ensure successful work with children in inclusive classrooms and diverse settings.
The Metropolitan State University of Denver (MSU Denver) ECE degree provides a strong foundation in:
- young children's development and learning;
- observation, documentation and assessment;
- effective teacher research;
- meaningful curriculum design;
- differentiation for all learners, including children with special needs, cultural and linguistic differences, and socio-economic inequality;
- developmentally effective approaches;
- building family and community relationships; and
- becoming an early childhood professional.
The Early Childhood Education Major offers a Baccalaureate of Arts (BA) degree with two concentration options leading to licensure or non-licensure.
Early Childhood Education Concentrations
Licensure: Early Childhood Educator
This option is specifically designed for those students who seek to become Colorado Department of Education (CDE) licensed teachers of children, birth through age eight. These students typically seek to teach Preschool through 2nd grade in public schools. Students seeking Director Qualifications of a large Childcare Center will need to take ECE 3340 - Administration of Early Childhood Programs in addition to their program requirements.
Non-licensure: Early Childhood Professional
This option emphasizes work with children birth to age five. It is specifically for those students who seek to become 1) early childhood teachers, directors, and coaches in centers, districts, and non-profit agencies that require Colorado Department of Human Services (CDHS) credentials but do not require CDE teacher licensure; OR 2) early childhood professionals, such as advocates and policy experts for young children and families; OR 3) candidates who choose to pursue advanced studies in early childhood education, special education, social work, educational policy, child development, or other related fields. Students graduating from MSU Denver with a non-licensure degree in Early Childhood Education will meet current Director Qualifications for a Large Childcare Center.
Requirements for Formal Admission to the Early Childhood Education program
Both licensure- and non-licensure-seeking students declaring an ECE major must complete the following steps before being formally admitted to the degree program and taking ECE Sequence II classes (see program plan).
- Complete all General Studies courses indicated on the ECE program plan.
- Complete or be in the process of completing all Sequence I courses indicated on the ECE program plan.
- Meet with an ECE advisor
- Declare the ECE major
- Attend a Teacher Application meeting
- Undergo a background check with the Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI)
- Have a cumulative grade point average of 2.5 or higher
- Pass the Elementary Education Program of Licensing Assessments for Colorado Educations (PLACE) exam or the Praxis II: Elementary Education Content Knowledge exam
All candidates for a BA in Early Childhood Education must satisfy General Studies, Multicultural, Global, and all Early Childhood Education program requirements. A grade of "C" or better is required for each course in the program to count toward the Bachelor's degree.
Please note: The majority of preschool and primary clinical experience hours occur in the mornings and afternoons in designated classrooms supervised by licensed teachers. Some courses require ECE students to work with children in unsupervised situations that may take place in the evenings or weekends.
Early Childhood Education Licensure Candidates
Candidates seeking teacher licensure must also gain admission to the Teacher Licensure Program. The application form for the program must be completed by attending an Application Meeting scheduled every semester by the School of Education Student Services Office. Formal admission must be obtained BEFORE advanced level education coursework can be taken. Refer to the Provisional and Formal Admission section of this catalog for more information about the necessary process.